What Chris Kreider really means

April 17, 2012, by

Chris Kreider doesn’t have to be a difference maker at this stage of his career even if that would be a nice bonus. What he needs to do is be able to add depth to the forwards and help Tortorella roll line after line and add his speed to the mix. Brian Boyle is exhibit A of how in the playoffs it’s often the depth that wins games and scores the big goals.

There will be plenty of games when the likes of Marian Gaborik get shutdown. It’s then that the likes of Brian Boyle need to be the difference. That’s why this Rangers team has the chance to go deep; because they have that depth. It’s one of the main reasons the Bruins won the cup last year; behind spectacular goaltending and depth. And we know this Rangers team has goaltending.

In game three, Kreider looked timid at first but grew as the game wore on. His line may have lacked cohesion but right now all Kreider has to do is hold Hagelin’s spot, learn on the fly and not be a liability. Kreider should stay in the line up when Hagelin returns because with both kids in the team and with Gaborik in full flight, there are not many teams that can match this kind of explosive speed up and down a line up.

Kreider should improve as the playoffs continue. Simply through more practice, a longer adjustment period and with fewer nerves (after all, it was his pro debut) Kreider should be able to become a bigger factor. In his 11:11 worth of ice time Kreider got better each shift. That’s no mean feat against a team that threw the kitchen sink at the Rangers towards the end.

Right now perhaps the biggest benefit of Kreider is that he provides realistic depth (sorry John Scott) and a realistic threat to anyone underperforming in regard to becoming a scratch. John Mitchell was pretty solid last night but Kreider should stay in the line-up. So who comes out when Hagelin returns? Fedotenko was solid last night even if he gave up the shot on a two on one. Rupp’s experience is valued and despite speed issues played a solid game also. Kreider highlights the Rangers impressive depth right now, which could be the difference over a playoff series.

The key word throughout this has been depth. Chris Kreider has all the tools to be a star long term. Right now he doesn’t have to be. He needs to be able to contribute whether that’s on the fourth or first line. So despite a solid yet far from spectacular debut let’s not raise the expectation level to unnecessary levels for Kreider and enjoy the benefits his mere presence provide.


  1. Zen says:

    Get John Mitchell OUT!!!

    • Chris says:

      He’s a very solid depth forward. To put out in capitals is a little extreme now? He’s given the Rangers some very good mileage since his acquisition. You can’t expect a guy that is a bottom 6/bottom line player to provide quality every game. He’s fine as long as he’s not too high up the depth chart – which he isn’t.

      • Tim says:

        Agreed. That’s is Rangers-fanning at its best. We always need someone to hate no matter how trivial their role is on the team, so in a world with no Eric Christensens unless John Mitchell can start blocking shots with his face again I think he’s doomed to start feelin’ the wrathhhhh.

        • The Suit says:

          Agreed. Mitchell can at least forecheck and get to loose pucks. If anything, I’d rather see him out there than Feds, who just seems a step behind all the time.

          • Dave says:

            That failed shot attempt was the last straw for me. I thought Feds would bring playoff experience, but at this rate I’d rather have Mitchell.

  2. JordanO says:

    It speaks to the Rangers depth when Derek Stepan, who spent a large portion of the year with Gaborik, is on the fourth line last night. Yet, he jumped back on line 1 for Kreider in the third to provide a better defensive presence. Which, by the way, I thought was a brilliant move by Torts.

    • Chris says:

      I agree… and while the puck spent too much time in the Rangers zone for my liking (especially at the end) I thought it was a very well coached game by Torts.

      • The Suit says:

        Torts knows how to make his adjustments. Glad people are finally starting to take notice and not bitch about line tinkering. Yay.

        • Dave says:

          All teams tinker. This group has played together long enough that they know where everyone will be. It’s just finding what works at that time.

        • Rickyrants13 says:

          Htill cant coach a PP to save his life. The Rangers are pittifull on it

          • The Suit says:

            Find me a coach who has presided over a lethal power play consistently throughout their entire career. It comes down to personnel.

    • Dave says:

      The message was sent. Stepan wasn’t playing well. Hopefully he responds.

  3. Walt says:

    The kid played his first NHL game with butter flies, and once he got rolling, he looked better. Lets not forget, he is only 20, freash out of college, does he shave yet?

    When Hags comes back, we have to give this kid ice time, on the third line, or fourth, but he needs to get the feel of the NHL, it’s speed, and physicality. He was shy about going into the corners, that too is to be expected until he gets his feet wet! Mitchell has given us his all, but this kid brings another dimention, scoreing, and at this stage of the season, sorry John, we will miss you.

    In closing, just think back two seasons, we all thought this Boyle kid had to go, and look what happened. The off season he really learns to skate, plays very good defense, skated well with Prust, and had a banner year last season. Everyone was on his case this season, “the guy has stone hands”, but look at him now. He is carrying this team on his back, along with Hank, I can’t say enough about Boyle. With this in mind, let the Kreider kid develope, without undue pressure, he will be fine!!!!!

    • Pete says:

      Very impressed by Boyles play, without a doubt. The guy is in full beast mode.

      This team, in the truest sense of the word, is really fun to watch. They play hard, play right, and once the Stepan’s, Kreider’s, McDonagh’s develop even further they should be one hell of a team for many years to come. Kudos to management for putting this together, and huge tip of the cap to Torts for getting them to this level.

    • Ray says:

      Boyle had a GREAT year. Yes he did not score but it was not because of the lack of taking shots. Only difference was that those same shots were going in last year and not this year. Still he had a great year and is having a great playoff run.

  4. The Suit says:

    I thought Kreider played well in spurts. He didn’t shy away from the boards or playing down low and he had some hustle, but he did appear a little over matched at times, which is expected.

    He also isn’t anywhere near his 230 lbs listing. Jagr plays at 230 and is much bigger than he is, so I think he’ll have to put some weight on during the offseason. Hopefully we’ll get another look at him tomorrow.

    • Pete says:

      I was at Nassau Coliseum for a Ranger-Islander preseason game in ’05 and Jed Ortmeyer was sitting in the row infront of me (he was injured at that point) and I shot the shit with him for a bit. Moral of the story being he was “listed” at 6′ 200lbs and he was no bigger than I was, 5’8″ 150 (mind you my friend towered about him and he’s only 6’1″), maybe they included skates and equipment.

      Still makes me laugh to this day about “list” sizes…

      • wwpd says:

        they should list Hank as 6 feet wide x 4 feet high. the way he is playing right now i don’t think anyone would question it

  5. michael says:

    anyone other than me hoping that Sather’s commitment to internal development and resisting the trade market will lend to guys taking discounts to stay together? 2014 I would really love to see Gaborik, Hank, Cally, and Girardi take discounts from their market value to stay and play with the then developed McD, MDZ, Hagelin, Kreider, Erixon, Stralman, etc. If all of those guys stick around on the roster along with the Prusts and Boyles this team will be unstoppable even with the aging stars.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      I really hope so, they make a ton of money comparatively speaking. To build a team like the Rangers are should be an honor and a privilege for the players to be a part of. They still will get compensated rather well. So in essence they get the best of both worlds. The Rangers have finally built the right culture, Hockey, not glamour.

  6. Walt says:

    Cut the crap guys, would you take a discounted contract? We can all be cavalier about this, but the bottom line is there earning years are not that many, and some of these guys will be bankrupt. Look at Jagr, he had to play in Russia during the lock out because he couldn’t manage his maoney, and was broke!!!!!

  7. Ray says:

    How many players play their FIRST NHL game during the playoffs?? The speed, skill, physicality, sell out crowds at this level would make anyone a nervous wreck. Torts played him just enough to get his feet wet and those butterflies out. Give him the time and LOOK OUT !!!! 😉

  8. rob sahm says:

    man did srallman play a heck of a game monday night.thats the best i have seen from him in a long time its a tough call but if would sit somebody for kreider it would be michell just think of the depth we are going to have once zuccarello comes back

    • The Suit says:

      Boy it would be great if he could. All I’d like to see for Boyle is better linemates, be a 30 point guy and continue shutting down the opposition.